The Sheltering Word
This exhibition is an art quest which explores the healing and protective power of the written word as a specific cultural idiom and takes the form of a dialogue between Greek and North African cultures.
“Using entirely natural materials such as cotton fabric, handmade paper and natural inks, reeds, leaves and linen twine, I offer my own interpretation of amulets, "inscribed" talismanic cloths and “sheltering words” - pinax, -inventing a new magical language in the realm of "written protection". Working in these raw materials, I’m at the same time meditating on their medical-magical-protective properties and their symbolic meanings. In my works the poetic language replaces the magic formulas considering anew the healing properties of art in modern societies”.
The spectator revisits the symbols again in order to reactivate ancient bonds with the eternal subject of supernatural protection drawn from the continuous exchange across this specific geographic and cultural area with its distinctive indigenous scripts.
Irini Gonou was born in Athens. She studied sculpture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts and at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. From 1980 she has shown her work in thirty two solo exhibitions and she has participated in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Her artwork is included to a variety of important public and private collections in Greece and abroad. She lives and works in Athens.